So what is a strip search and when is one appropriate in Minnesota? The answer to the first is easy to pin down but the answer to the second can be much more confusing. Let's take a look.
What is a strip search?
A strip search is an invasive investigation occurring when a police officer asks an individual to remove portions of clothing or items from their person. This search may escalate to include the probing and inspection of body parts or cavities.
A partial strip search occurs when an individual is asked to remove shoes, socks, their coat, belt, jacket or underwear as part of a police investigation. A request for a person to untuck his or her shirt can also qualify as a partial strip search.
It is important to note that while these searches may be deemed humiliating or embarrassing, they are allowed by Minnesota law.
When is a strip search appropriate in Minnesota?
In order for a strip search to occur, police need reasonable suspicion that an individual is concealing weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia that cannot be found with a standard pat-down. A suspect who appears to be under the influence or the presence of drug paraphernalia in close proximity could also lead officers to move ahead with the search.
In some instances, strip searches have been performed on individuals before they were charged with a crime.
While determining the merit of a strip search is often a judgment decision by law enforcement, there are a few guidelines that police should follow, regardless of the situation. Strip searches should only be performed if:
– There is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
– The search is performed by a member of the same sex.
– The search is not performed in the presence of members of the opposite sex or the public.
– The search is not performed in a manner deemed to be degrading, insulting, offensive or overly intrusive to the individual.
People who have been subjected to a strip search may feel violated, humiliated or embarrassed. If you feel you have been wrongly subjected to a strip search, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.